Warning to Merkel: “There will no longer be a German wind power industry”


The state premiers of Germany’s five coastal states have asked Chancellor Angela Merkel for talks about the “highly worrying” situation in the country’s wind industry, and presented an 11-point plan to boost onshore and offshore wind expansion.

The five state-heads reminded Merkel of the 40,000 jobs already lost to the industry, with 2019 producing the smallest growth in the industry since 2013, at just 507MW. Germany developed an average of 2.7GW per year over the period 2014 to 2018.

 “If this trend continues, there will no longer be a German wind power industry in the foreseeable future,” the state premiers said in an open letter to Merkel.

According to the premiers, faster expansion of wind capacity in the country is critical to reaching the 65% target for renewables in Germany’s energy mix by 2030.

In the letter, the five also warned of the consequences of a rule stipulating a minimum distance of 1km between new wind farms and even the smallest settlements which would slow the expansion of onshore wind power to a near standstill.

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Among the demands made by the 5 state representatives proposed a binding onshore wind expansion target of about 5GW per year, building to a revised target of 30GW of cumulated offshore wind energy production capacity by 2035.

This is considerably higher than the current 15GW offshore target, which it’s said, will be raised to 20GW, with no 2035 goal set at the time of writing.

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The letter also demanded simpler rules for repowering, a faster grid expansion, and fewer possibilities for legal appeals, all demands put forward by the wind sector in recent months.

The premiers also called for additional offshore wind tenders.

“Citizens will be more eager to accept wind farms in their vicinity if the municipality or they themselves profit directly from those machines,” said Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state premier Manuela Schwesig.